Fish and other aquatic creatures

How to get rid of a black beard in an aquarium


If you have an aquarium at home, you should perfectly understand that this means not only a beautiful view of colorful fish and green algae. As is the case with any domestic animals, fish and other creatures and plants living in the water must be carefully looked after and looked after. And if you do not do it properly, you can face very unpleasant consequences. There may be a lot of them, but in this article we will discuss one of them, which the people have received a rather unusual name - “black beard”. If you have not yet encountered this problem, you still need to familiarize yourself with the information presented in the article in order to know how to get rid of the black beard in an aquarium. First, you will know what it is, secondly, you will understand why it appears, and thirdly, you will know that or who becomes a victim of this phenomenon. Naturally, besides this, you will receive many useful recommendations both on combating and on preventing the appearance of this problem. So, it's time to learn how to get rid of the "black beard" in an aquarium.

What it is?

Before you begin to understand in detail how to get rid of the "black beard" in an aquarium, you need to understand what it is. It turns out that everything is quite simple and ordinary. This is not the magic beard of an evil wizard who wants to destroy your little underwater world. These are just parasitic red algae, which belong to the genus Kompsopogon. Naturally, they got their name for their extravagant appearance, which very much resembles a black beard. However, this is only basic information, which serves as an introduction to the topic "How to get rid of the black beard in the aquarium."

Character traits

If you want to learn how to get rid of the "black beard" in the aquarium once and for all, then you should know your opponent as thoroughly as possible. To do this, you should study, for example, its main features. How to distinguish these algae from others? If the comparison with the male facial hair is not obvious to you, it is worth describing the “black beard” in more detail. So, these algae are small bunches of black color from five to ten millimeters long, while the threads of these algae do not branch, which makes them similar to the hairs of a human beard. You do not have to look for it: one of the features of the “black beard” is the destruction of absolutely everything in the tank with water. If these algae are bred in your tank, they will be on the glass, on the equipment, on the stones, on the ground, and on the scenery. And the most unpleasant is that the parasite also begins to grow on aquarium plants, thereby causing them serious harm. That is why you should learn about how to get rid of the "black beard" in the aquarium.

Formation process

The sooner you notice the appearance of a “black beard” in your tank, the easier it will be for you to get rid of it. However, it should immediately be said that the fight against it will be quite difficult in any case, but if you notice the appearance of these algae in the early stages, you will greatly facilitate your life. So, everything begins with small black bushes, which can either be concentrated in one particular place, or distributed throughout the entire aquarium. The problem is that these algae do not cling to objects and plants, and, if possible, grow into them. So if the "black beard" struck your plants, then it will be quite difficult to save them.

What plants to follow?

Like any other parasite, the "black beard" has its "favorites", that is, the plants on which it begins to grow in the first place. This can help you, as you will know where to look for these algae. So, the most beloved plants of the “black beard” are Anubias and cryptocorynes, as well as various ferns. How to notice the problem in the initial stages? Pay attention to the leaves of the above plants, namely their edges. It is there that the first bundles of algae appear, which then spread over the entire surface of the leaf.

What happens if you do not act quickly?

Some might think, “So what? Let it grow! There will be another type of vegetation in the aquarium! ”, But this is a very big mistake. The fact is that these algae do not grow locally - they are distributed everywhere. They only begin with the plants described above, after which they move to others, as well as to stones, soil, and so on. What will happen if you do not get rid of the "black beard" in time? The whole aquarium will be covered with black "wool" and the environment will become unsuitable for the existence of vegetation or animals. That is why you should deal with these algae in the very initial stages.

Causes of

Why does a “black beard” appear in an aquarium? The causes can be varied, but the main is a high concentration of organic substances. The fact is that these algae only grow into the plant, but do not feed on it. They get food from water. That is why very often the “black beard” is born in a not cleaned filter for a long time, since there is a very high concentration of organic substances that accumulate there due to overfeeding of fish or rare cleaning. There are also a number of other factors, such as ground siphon and aeration. If we are talking about aeration, it is worth noting that the jumps of carbon dioxide in the water can also cause the appearance of a “black beard”.

What to do?

Here comes the moment you have been waiting for. Suppose you notice that you have a "black beard" in the aquarium. How to get rid of her? There are two methods, each of which is suitable at an appropriate stage of algae distribution. If you managed to notice the "black beard" in the early stages, then you can cope without much loss. You will still have to carefully monitor what is happening in the water for a month, but your first step is to remove the algae themselves. Considering the fact that they grow into plants, do not try to save already damaged specimens. You will not be able to save them and at the same time endanger the neighboring species.

Then you will need to thoroughly clean the aquarium, remove from it all organic matter and all the rotting elements that you can find. Clean the filters and dry them properly before reinstalling. If you performed a soil siphon and aeration, stop, since, as mentioned above, this can provoke the appearance of a “black beard”. If you want to save your plant, then you should pay attention to the Siamese algae. Always keep a few of these creatures in the tank so that they save you from all the excess algae. And if you already have a diseased plant, put it in a jar of algae, so that they clean it.

Hard case

So, a black beard appeared in the aquarium. How to get rid of it if you did not immediately notice it? In this case, the process is complicated, since you will have to try hard to cope with this task. The most important thing you need to know is that these algae hate sour water, so if you adjust the carbon dioxide supply, you can kill the infection. There was a "black beard" in the aquarium - how to get rid of? Peroxide can also be a good solution, like any other substance that can oxidize water. However, if the aquarium has already completely turned black, then one oxidation is not enough. You will have to use algaecides, which can be purchased in the respective stores.

What is a "black beard"

What is a "black beard"? Compsopogon coeruleus is a multicellular algae in the form of black and brown fine threads that can reach a length of 5 cm. It usually affects higher plants, but can attach to any surface.

This alga breeds at high speed, can cover all the plants in the aquarium. From it is very difficult to clear the snags and ornaments. Methods of dealing with the "black beard" in the aquarium can be different, but it is quite difficult to completely get rid of it.

Why do algae appear in the aquarium?

"Black beard" in the aquarium usually appears after buying new plants or decorations. Therefore, it is very important to prevent the appearance of this trouble. Spores of this algae do not spread through the air.

After buying new plants, they need to be kept in quarantine for several days. With the appearance of black bloom on the leaves, you should not use such bushes. Also, new plants can be treated with solutions of bleach, potassium permanganate or hydrogen peroxide. Keeping the plants in a disinfecting solution needs only a few minutes (for delicate species, the time can be shortened), then rinse them in cool running water.

Of great importance is the condition of the aquarium. If the biofiltration is broken in the tank, the owners neglect the rules of care, do not change the water, do not siphon the soil and overfeed the fish, then the risk of the appearance of a "black beard" increases. In an aquarium with a balanced balance, algae will not multiply and quickly disappear on their own. But in the problematic "beard" will appear again and again.

Therefore, it is not only how to get rid of the "black beard" in the aquarium, but also how to prevent its recurrence.


How to get rid of algae "black beard"? The most radical method of dealing with the "black beard" - a full restart of the aquarium. All fish need to be transplanted into a temporary container of a suitable size, provide them with filtration and aeration. Drain all the water completely, get the soil, plants, equipment and decorations.

The soil must be calcined in the oven or boil in boiling water. Jewels and driftwood should be thoroughly cleaned from black deposits and disinfected with chlorine, potassium permanganate, peroxide or boiling water. Do the same with all the equipment. The walls and bottom of the aquarium should be treated with boiling water, since it can be difficult to wash the bleach completely.

Affected plants are best thrown away. If you want to save them, then tear off all the blackened leaves, treat the bushes with a disinfecting solution, rinse well. Put them in quarantine capacity and make sure that the new raid does not appear.

After everything is cleaned and disinfected, you need to perform the procedure to start the aquarium. To speed up the process, you can take water from a healthy aquarium. Restarting the aquarium is time consuming and responsible. Before you decide on this method, it is better to try to get rid of the problem by other methods.

Fish and Snails

How in the aquarium to get rid of the "black beard" with the help of fish? There is a version that you can do this if you have fish that feed on this type of algae. This is Siamese seaweed and antsitrus. If you run these fish into an aquarium, they will eat all the growths in a few weeks.

But not everything is so simple. "Blackbeard" is pretty tough and reluctant to eat it. To fish paid attention to her, they can not be fed. To do this in the general aquarium, if necessary, to give food to other inhabitants is rather problematic. In addition, sweepers may prefer other, more delicate plants when present.

Other types of cleaners are useless for this task, since nobody eats the black beard anymore, shrimps and large snails as well.

Another method of fighting with animals is to launch into the affected aquarium a whole handful (about a hundred) of small young snails ampoules, no larger than a match head. These kids are great at algae. After the “black beard” is finished, the ampoule must be collected for bait and removed from the aquarium before they start to use useful plants.

In our problem will help and plants. How? Get rid of the "black beard" can be, if you crush the simplest algae with the help of competitors - higher plants. Fast growing species such as valisneria, hygrofila, lemongrass, elodea will do.

For their rapid growth need to create suitable conditions. For the violent growth of higher plants carbon dioxide is necessary. If you do not want to buy a special installation, you can make it yourself using an ordinary plastic bottle.

Seedlings will need a lot, they need to fill a large space. You can buy green mass not only in the pet store. At the local forum, you can ask aquarists to share plants after weeding.

As plants grow, they need to be cut and rooted cuttings obtained. Young shoots intensively absorb nutrients.

A sign of a close victory over the "black beard" - the acquisition of white color by it. Shortly thereafter, the algae will die and begin to disappear.

Household appliances

One of the popular methods of dealing with the "black beard" - chemical. Boric or brown acid, antibiotics are applied. But remember that such methods can lead not only to the disappearance of the "black beard", but also to the death of all plants and even fish.

If there are no live plants in the aquarium, you can try to destroy the "black beard" with the help of "Furacilin". This antiseptic is usually rinsed throat with sore throat. This tool destroys all algae. The drug is lethal for shrimp, snails and some fish, such as corridors. Apply a similar method can be if you have a small aquarium without plants, populated by simple fish.

Special equipment

Most fish lovers want to learn how to get rid of the "black beard" in the aquarium in the shortest possible time. There are special agents for algae control - Aljefix, Element CO2, Ferti Carbo, etc. Many successfully use the Saydex disinfector.

These preparations remove all types of algae, fight water blooming. They are safe for plants and fish, but toxic for snails, shrimps, crabs, etc.

Typically, these drugs need to be added within a few days, gradually increasing the dosage. "Blackbeard" dies very quickly, the result is noticeable after 3-4 days.

The nature itself can tell how to get rid of a black beard in an aquarium, because the appearance of algae in an aquarium often indicates a violation of the biological balance.

In the aquarium should be clean. Organic compounds must be periodically removed. Weekly you need to produce a siphon of the soil, change 20-30% of the water. As part of the fight against algae, water can be changed daily at 10-15%.

Do not allow overpopulation. Fish can not be overfed: all food must be eaten within 5 minutes. Blackbeard is powered by water, so reducing the flow will also help in dealing with the problem.

Higher plants should receive enough light and nutrients in the form of fertilizers. Their rapid growth will help get rid of algae.

So, now you know how to get rid of the "black beard" in an aquarium. It remains to choose the appropriate method for your conditions.

Settling with special fish and snails

Somik antsistrus and Siamese seaweed can eat these types of algae. Other fish ignore them.

But, the beard is not too attractive food, even for catfish, in the presence of other plants or feed, the fish will ignore the alga. In order for the fish to start cleaning, they cannot be fed, which is not always convenient.

A relatively simple and safe way to remove parasites is to run a few dozen cubs of snail ampulyaria.

After cleaning all surfaces, snails (or most of them) from the tank are caught.

Aquarium snail ampoule

Plant distribution

Other plants will help push out the beard from the fish house, such as the hygrophilus, elodea, lemongrass, and valisneria.

Hygrophil cinema in aquarium

Plants are planted as thick as possible. Gradually they fill the whole space and stifle the black beard.

Acetic acid

A solution of acetic acid will help to clear live plants from the growing parasite. Acetic acid 70%, which is used in canning, diluted with water to a concentration of 3% (you can use apple or wine vinegar). In the resulting solution down plant plants down. Roots do not need to be immersed in the solution. Enough 10 - 15 seconds to acid killed the parasite. After that, the plant is rinsed in water and returned to the aquarium.

Chemical methods can lead not only to the disappearance of a black beard, but also to the death of all plants and even fish.


Sometimes aquarists use furatsilin or boric acid for disinfection.

This method can not be considered good, as it is dangerous for fish.

Safe products are sold in pet stores. These are drugs that can be used in the presence of fish. They are effective in the initial stages of the appearance of a black beard.

To eliminate the algae, the battery (any working) is fixed outside the aquarium. Copper wire is attached to the contacts, its ends are immersed in water. The current will destroy this parasite without harming the fish.

Often the appearance of algae in the aquarium indicates a violation of the biological balance

What is a black beard and its external signs

Это многоклеточная водоросль в виде тоненьких чёрных и буровато-зелёных нитей, которые прочно крепятся ко всем поверхностям внутри стенок. Длина нитей может достигать 5 см, разрастаясь, они способны покрыть всю площадь. Внешний вид паразита напоминает волоски бороды, поэтому водоросль имеет такое народное название.

Профилактика появления

Избежать заражения воды поможет:

  • соблюдение чистоты в аквариуме,
  • ежедневная замена 10% воды,
  • регулярная очистка фильтров,
  • compliance with the rules of landing fish,
  • mandatory quarantine for newly acquired vegetation.

Summing up the article, one can say - the fight against the parasite is a long and difficult process. But, following the above recommendations, to cope with the plant really.

What is a "black beard" and "Vietnamese"

“Blackbeard” - a red alga (Latin Compsopogon coeruleus) of the kingdom of the Crimson Bean was brought together with ornamental plants from Southeast Asia.

Kompsopogon looks like black filamentous moss covering the leaves of slow-growing aquatic plants, using them as a substrate. In addition to an untidy look, it harms plants by destroying their tissues and shading the surface of the leaf. In addition to vegetation, lives on snags, soil, scenery. If the “beard” covers the soil with a thick carpet, then it may “sour” due to the lack of water circulation.

Black beard tassels.

"Flip Flop" or Audocinella (Latin Audocinella) - akin to the "beard" look looks like a bunch of dark strings. The principle of the fight is the same as with the “black beard”, but with one difference - “Vietnamese” is eaten only by young ampulyarias, algaefish it is indifferent. The cause of intolerance is pigment, which is contained in algae cells.

To bring the "Vietnamese" is very difficult and completely get rid of it is almost impossible. That is why you should avoid its entry into the aquarium and try to follow the processes taking place in it as carefully as possible.

How to prevent the appearance of "black beard"

Before purchasing all the plants are carefully inspected. It is better to buy them in a proven pet shop or from a familiar seller.

  • After buying the plants are placed in a quarantine tank for 30 days. This time is enough to notice the black brushes that appear. In this case, the affected plants cannot be used without special treatment.
  • In order to remove the "Vietnamese" and "beard" from the leaves of plants, they need to be immersed in a solution of 7% apple or table vinegar and water in a ratio of 1: 2 for 1-2 minutes. Only leaves are immersed, the root can be burned. After treatment, the plants are rinsed with clean aquarium water.


The essence of this method is to suppress the development of compassopogon with the help of various chemicals.

  • In pet stores in the free market there are funds against unwanted algae. In most cases, the buyer will offer the drug Algimin German company Tetra. During its use, "black beard" reduces its growth rate and gradually dies. This method is suitable for fish who love soft water (discus, tetra, apistogramma, etc.).
  • It is known that the "beard" does not tolerate an alkaline environment, at pH 7.5 it stops growing, and at pH 9 it completely dies. In order to increase the alkalinity of the environment, it is necessary to gradually add NaOH (sodium hydroxide, caustic soda, caustic soda) to the aquarium.
  • If the water is soft, then its performance will tend to be neutral, therefore, along with alkalinity, it is necessary to gradually increase the hardness. To achieve greater hardness of water can be using filtration through marble chips, adding baking soda in 0.05 concentration (0.5 g / l of water), boiling.
  • For large aquariums or herbalists use a large amount of CO.2 in cylinders. This will help not only to destroy fouling, but also accelerate the growth of plants.
  • Experienced aquarists remove the "beard" and the Vietnamese drug "Sidex". Use this tool with caution.


It has long been observed that in some aquariums the “black beard” becomes a real disaster, while in others it dies in the coming days. What should be done to defeat the hated alga and prevent it from developing:

  • Proper care of the aquarium. It is necessary to avoid excess organic matter, that is, to avoid overcrowding and overfeeding. If kompsopogon began to grow, then you need to temporarily remove the fish, interrupting the soil and limit the circulation of water. These measures are necessary in order to prevent the parasite from feeding on organic suspensions.
  • Siamese Algae Eater (SAE), loricarium catfish (brocade catfish, antsistrus), girinoheylus (gerik) - these fish species are quite effective in eliminating unwanted vegetation. Best of all, they do it on an empty stomach, therefore, for active feeding of fouling, it is necessary to limit feed intake.

Any algae - part of the ecosystem of the aquarium, do not panic when dark brushes appear, you just need to understand in time what went wrong. To do this, it is enough to purchase a pack of tests for aquarium water and check which parameters failed.

What is a black beard, and how it looks

Blackbeard is an algae that spreads quickly in your artificial reservoir, covering underwater surfaces with a solid dark carpet. Also known as compsopogon (Compsopogon coeruleus), Black Brush Algae (BBA) or acidic alga. It should not be confused with a red beard (Red Brush Algae) or Vietnamese - with the resemblance they are two completely different plants.

Black beard grows quickly throughout the plant, and it is difficult to get rid of it

BBA belongs to the group of red algae. And although the natural color of the bushes varies from dark green to dark gray and even deep black, after a short exposure to alcohol, they acquire a pronounced reddish tint.

The fact that a pest has appeared in the aquarium is indicated by small dark spots on the decorations or leaves of aquarium plants.. An adult kompsopogon looks like an accumulation of threads about 1.5–2 cm long, hard and rough to the touch. For the resemblance to the bristles, the plant got its unusual name.

Getting close to the plants, dark brushes cover their stems and grow along the edge of the leaves and their tops. They multiply rapidly in areas with rapid movement of water and quickly fixed on the walls of the aquarium, soil and scenery.

The most radical ways of dealing with a pest are burning the scenery and the ground. You can also simply “restart the aquarium”, removing all infected plants. But these methods require a lot of time and effort.

From a biological point of view, a black beard is not a parasite alga, but it obscures the leaves of aquarium plants, destroys their tissues and slows development. Due to the rapid growth of the BBA, they suffocate and die. The greatest damage is caused to slow-growing plants, such as ferns and anubias.

Alga frames the leaves of the plant and spoils their appearance.

Potassium permanganate

A light pink solution of potassium permanganate is prepared and the plants are kept in it. Stem-leaved plants take a bath with potassium permanganate for an hour, soft and gentle - about 30 minutes.


All inhabitants are removed from the aquarium. Dissolve several tablets of furazolidone or furatsilina and incubated for several days. Under the action of drugs water may turn yellow.

Sydeks (Johnson and Johnson)

Saydeks is also an additional fertilizer for plants and beneficial bacteria.

This versatile medical solution is sold with an activator powder. The activator is discarded, and the solution is added to the aquarium at the rate of 15–20 ml for every 100 l of water. The duration of treatment is no more than 2 weeks.

Under the influence of the drug, the water in the aquarium may become cloudy. This is how its effect on the flora and fauna of a microconductor manifests itself.

Algicide + CO2 (AquaYer)

Turn off the filter. After 10–15 minutes, a preparation is added to water at the rate of 10–15 ml for every 100 l of water. Smooth movements process the beard with medicine from a syringe. Leaves of nearby plants can get burned. For shrimp medicine is not dangerous.

Before using the drug, it is necessary to make sure that the fish will tolerate its presence at minimum dosages.

Easy Carbo Easy Life

Increases the competitive power of plants against algae

In accordance with the manufacturer's instructions, 1–2 ml of solution is added daily to 50 liters of aquarium water. After a few days, the bearded algae should change its color to whitish or pinkish. As soon as this has happened, the treatment is stopped.

Keeping the aquarium clean

Maintaining cleanliness is especially important for preventing the appearance of a pest. This alga absorbs the remnants of organic matter, which are deposited on its villi. To prevent the growth of black beard, you need to regularly remove the oranic sediment.

Water should be changed once a week, each time updating 25–30% of the total volume. In a strongly neglected and clogged aquarium, water is changed every day, after cleaning it with an ion exchange filter. This method does not work immediately, but in 2-3 months the number of beards is significantly reduced.

Dying plants are fertile soil for breeding bearded algae. They need to be immediately removed from the aquarium.

Cleaner Fish and Snails

There are environmentally friendly methods of dealing with a black beard. They suggest the use of herbivorous fish-cleaners and snails.

Harmful algae are happy to eat catfish, Siamese seaweed, Labe, mollies and fish of the family Karpazubye. In about a week, they are able to completely clean the aquarium from uninvited guests.

To the inhabitants of the aquarium quickly destroyed the pest, they need to keep on starvation. Other fish at the time of "treatment" should be deposited in a separate container.

For catfish for 40 minutes a day, it is necessary to create artificial twilight. During this time, the fish actively eat harmful weeds in the underwater garden.

Snail ampoule

Ampulyarii cope with the pest as effectively as herbivorous fish. It is best to run about a hundred small snails no larger than a match head. After the kids fully cope with the task, they need to be removed from the aquarium, otherwise they will begin to grow and eat all the green in their path.

Thus, the black beard is not a pest plant, but it does not bring any benefit to the aquarium. To avoid the appearance of a fluffy carpet on the walls, plants and the ground, it is necessary to monitor the cleanliness of the home water reservoir, clean its bottom, replace water in a timely manner, prevent too dense settlement and overfeeding of the inhabitants.